Buying a home is a psychological game of poker, with very high stakes, and significant incentives to bluff and avoid inconvenient facts. However estate agents are legally bound to tell the truth, so you need to make sure you ask the right questions to find out what the real situation is. It could make the difference between buying a dream home and buying a dud – and save you a fortune. We have prepared some tips to help you conduct successful negotiations.
Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions!
Often we are afraid when we have to ask a lot of questions. However, only by asking questions you will be able to find out all the necessary details regarding your purchase.
So many first-time buyers fall in love with a property and rush to make an offer so that they can ‘seal the deal.' A quick sale is always great - but if the buyers take some time to ask questions about the property, they may find that they can agree on a better deal and save money.
Successful negotiators are assertive and challenge everything – they know that everything is negotiable. Being assertive means asking for what you want and refusing to take NO for an answer.
Aggression is often used to achieve a result. However practicing being assertive will take care of your interests while maintaining respect for the interests of others.
Find out the real reasons behind the sale? Why are they selling?
When someone sells something big like their home, they have a good reason for it. Sometimes it’s harmless, but it could also be a warning sign for buyers. Be sure to ask before you sign.
There may be cases where you want to know why someone's selling a home that you don't want to deal with either. Maybe they're moving because they need to relocate for a job or need more space, which is fine and says nothing wrong about the house. On the other hand, if they're moving because of troublesome neighbors or the area is in decline, that may cause a warning to you as well.
Are there any problems with the property? Knowing this will avoid any future problems and / or financial costs as well as aid you during the negotiation process.
A good question beyond these basics might be, "Is there anything I haven't asked about this house YOU would want to know if you were buying it?" For instance, is it currently located in a floodplain? Are there several foreclosures nearby?
How long was the property on the market? Why was it long? How many agents are on the case?
You've found the perfect home, and you want to put in an offer as soon as possible. But not so fast. How long has this property been on the market? This should always be the first question you ever ask the sales agent. While this can be dependent on the housing market in your location in general, a home that has been on the market for months can indicate that something is undesirable about the property or in many cases unrealistic asking price.
If the house has been on the market a long time (more than three months), ask the owner or agent why they think it isn't selling. Are there problems that other people have realized that you haven't? Is it just overpriced?
Find out who is the owner and check their social media to understand personality?
Homeowners know more about what it's like to live in the house and the neighborhood and will have the best advice on everything from local restaurants to nearby mechanics.
Of course, the seller's agent will likely discourage the owners from talking to you—and your agent may provide similar advice out of concern you'll accidentally reveal details about your situation that could hurt your negotiating position. That is why it's usually better to work through licensed real estate professionals.
Also, it is critical to find out more information about the owner to avoid fraud situations. Find out who is the owner and allow your solicitors to make all the checks. Recently, there was a case in London when the property was sold unlawfully by the tenants. Thus, you have to challenge in some cases even solicitor's checks.
Find the owner on social networks, it's nice to make new acquaintances, and it will be useful for both of you! You can talk to him or just learn about the owner more.
Show that you are a serious buyer
When making an offer be ready to provide your ID, prove address and availability of funds (bank statement or approved mortgage offer), give the details of your solicitor.
Sellers will require proof of funds from a home buyer. Your offer will look stronger if you show evidence that you have funds and mortgage available to you.
And the last two tips that will help you be more successful during negotiations.
- If you are a professional property investor - show them your CV. Let them know that you know what you are doing!
- Be professional, return the calls, answer clearly on all the questions.
If you want to know more how we helped hundreds of foreign investors to build their real estate portfolio, contact UK Property Advisors on +44 (0) 755 310 9657. We are a reliable partner and an expert in residential real estate investments in London